A 'BRIDGE too far' and the 'removal of a historic farm forever' — public figures are making their objections known about the 475-house West Acre Park development in Ryde.

Plans to demolish agricultural barns and build the major development behind Marlborough Road were submitted by Captiva Homes to the Isle of Wight Council three weeks ago.

Captiva is looking to build the 475 houses over nine phases, which includes 116 social or affordable houses, a cafe, doctors' surgery and office space.

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Read more: Revealed: Full details of controversial Ryde homes scheme

Planning agents say the proposals present an opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution to the overall need for both private and affordable housing within the local area while making efficient use of the land without it being overdeveloped.

However, local campaigners and public figures are now objecting to the development in an effort to save one the last dairy farm in Ryde — Westridge Farm — where the current tenants have been farming since 1966.

Ryde mayor, Cllr Michael Lilley, has submitted a 12-page objection to the development to the planning department stating the attempt to create a new village-style development is a bridge too far for Ryde and will 'overwhelm' existing facilities.

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Cllr Lilley also says building on the site will destroy hundreds of years of established eco-system, replacing natural countryside and farmland, increasing carbon emissions and loses the character of the historic Ryde settlement of Elmfield to an 'urban sprawl'.

He said: "There is an over-concentration of housing development in the East/South of Ryde that [is] already changing the character of the area but pushing totally to breaking point the fragile community infrastructure."

Read more: 'Destroying Ryde farmland' — 475 house development opposed

Another public body, the Environmental Agency (EA) has also submitted an objection to the plan as the current flood risk assessment for the site is not acceptable as it does not take into account issues like climate change, flood mitigation measures over the lifetime of the development or how a range of different flooding events would affect people and property.

The EA said to overcome its objection the developers would need to submit a revised flood risk assessment and it would reconsider its views.

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely is objecting to the plans also, having met with Ryde residents last year who are against the plans, arguing the infrastructure would not adequately support the volume of housing proposed.

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He said the Island 'badly' needs a new housing policy as the planning system has 'failed Islanders' as local need has not been met and to build more effectively, in sustainable locations, such as brownfield sites.

Before it submits its views, Ryde Town Council is asking residents of the town for their opinion of the development. It asks Ryde residents to attend the planning meeting on September 8 or email planning@rydetowncouncil.gov.uk.

Comments on the application (20/01061/FUL) can be made until September 11, on the Isle of Wight Council's planning portal.